Cheltenham Snippets

The annual Festival is a massive punting event and many of the bookmakers offer extra incentives to entice you to bet with them.

There are some good deals begging for new accounts and these can help fund your betting bank.

One such offer that caught our eye was from Paddy Power who are offering to refund losing stakes on the Supreme Novices Hurdle if the favourite Cue Card wins the race (check the terms and conditions).

The horse was being considered for a tilt at the Champion Hurdle and this race is surely an easier task but the history books show that only 3 favourites in the last 19 renewals have prevailed which may explain the Paddy Power offer.

Having said that all the calcs highlight the fact that with this short priced favourite as your back up there is great value in backing your fancy to beat it with the Irish based firm.

Notwithstanding the record of the favourite the market generally is a good guide and it therefore makes sense to back the 2nd and 3rd favourites.

Which are the Nicky Henderson trained Spirit Son and the Irish horse Zaidpour who having been beaten on his last two starts will surely be better suited to the likely faster conditions on the first day of the Festival.

One ante-post advice that has caught our attention for the final day of the meeting is Ski Sunday who is currently best priced @11/1 with Hills.

The horse is in the hands of a relatively new trainer Lawney Hill who has really blossomed during the last two years and in 2009-10 she sent out 18 winners, three times her previous best, and so far this year she had set the bar even higher with 20 successes.

She once again advertised her skill for taking over and improving others charges when Ski Sunday was produced to win first time out under her guidance in a competitive two mile handicap hurdle at Kempton in mid-January.

And in a recent interview the trainer had this to say. “Before he came to us he’s run in some top class races and his form was there for all to see.

However we were worried because he hadn’t run in a jumps race since losing the sight in his left eye and although he’d schooled well at home, you never know until the racecourse.

He proved at Kempton that he is a brave, gutsy horse. After that we had nothing to gain by running again and risk putting his mark up further for the County Hurdle which will be my first Cheltenham Festival runner.

I’m quite happy with 143 and I would be delighted if AP were able to ride him.”

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